From the Publisher
Bailey's extensive work within Middle Eastern peasant culture has helped him in his attempt to determine the cultural assumptions that the tellers of the parables must have made about his audience. The same values that informed the parables in Jesus' time, Bailey suggests, can be discovered today in isolated peasant communities in places like Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. By plumbing the world views of these cultures, it is possible to discern, for example what it meant 2,000 years ago for a friend to come calling at midnight, or for a son to ask for his inheritance prior to his father's death. Through a combination of literary and cultural analyses, these studies make a number of profound advances in the interpretation of Jesus' parables.